The UK stock index railed more than two percent as a turbulent 2018 for global markets neared its end with just two more trading days left in the year. As of just before 15:00 GMT, the FTSE 100 was at 6,724.39 points, or up 2.3 percent, after plunging in the previous session. The biggest boost for the FTSE 100 came from oil giants BP and Shell, which shot up more than 3 percent and 2 percent respectively as oil prices rebounded. Shares in exporter companies also climbed, led by British American Tobacco which rose 3.6 percent.
Pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca added 1.7 percent each while financial heavyweight Prudential rose 1.8 percent.
The positivity in European stocks came after US markets sprang back to life on Thursday after heavy losses for most of the day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased a 600-point drop to end the trading day in the green by jumping 1.1 percent.
The United States and China are locked in a trade war that has disrupted the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars of goods, but while trade relations between the US and China were still fraught, some saw signs of progress in recent days.
Chris Bailey, Raymond James analyst, said: “The Chinese have liberalised, they’ve set up for more discussions in January.
“It’s not going to be a straight road but I think there’s a little bit of cause for optimism there.”
The FTSE 100 was on track for its worst quarterly fall since 2011, when Europe was battling a sovereign debt crisis.
It was down 10.9 percent this quarter.
Asia stocks were mainly up on Friday, with the Shanghai Composite Index edging up 0.3 percent.
In South Korea, the KOSPI soared by 0.5 percent.
But the Japan Nikkei fell by 0.5 percent after surging almost 4 percent in the previous session.
In more bad news for the UK high street, CD and DVD retailer HMV Retail could enter administration for the second time with 2,200 jobs at risk, according to a report by Sky News.
The biggest high street music retailer in the UK is said to have filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.
HMV Retail is said to have attempted to seek financial support from leading names in the record music industry before sending off the paperwork last week.
The music major would join the likes of Toys R Us, House of Fraser and Mothercare on the list of high-profile household names that have gone under this year amid Brexit uncertainty, lower consumer spending and rising labour costs.
Published at Fri, 28 Dec 2018 15:44:00 +0000